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Implementing Security at Church

BERLIN TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Hours after the carnage at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, President Trump suggested the attack may have been prevented i...

BERLIN TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Hours after the carnage at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, President Trump suggested the attack may have been prevented if there were armed guards.

Church leaders and law enforcement officials we spoke to don't necessarily agree that's the solution but have taken steps to increase security during worship.

The sign outside the Beach Lake Free Methodist Church says, "We are church-loving," but after Saturday's mass murder at a Pittsburgh synagogue and other deadly attacks like it, Pastor Scott Brodd admits church members are somewhat fearful.

"It's incredibly heartbreaking that this is the reality. This is the world we live in," Pastor Brodd said.

After 26 men, women, and children were killed at a church in Sunderland Springs, Texas last November, Brodd says this congregation took steps to protect one another and developed a security team made up of church members.

"They are responsible for being our eyes and ears and trained to respond in the event of an attacker and get people to safety."

Each time one of these mass shootings happens at a school or church across the country, folks who lead churches and schools look to law enforcement for tips on what they should be doing to make their buildings safer.

"It's a sensitive issue," said Wayne County Sheriff Mark Steelman. "You're at church, don't want to be thinking about things like that."

Sheriff Steelman advised the Free Methodist Church to take the security measures it has and isn't entirely convinced putting guards with weapons would fit a house of worship.

"You don't want to give the presence of a prison atmosphere with armed security guards. It's church," the sheriff said.

"I don't think visibly armed guards is the right response. I believe there are security measures a church can take that are discrete and effective," added Pastor Brodd.

The pastor didn't want to get into specifics about the security team at his church but says having a trained team of church members gives everyone a sense of security without going to an extreme and in turn possibly creating more fear.